Please update your browser

You're using a version of Internet Explorer that isn't supported by Questia.
To get a better experience, go to one of these sites and get the latest
version of your preferred browser:

Is Fergie Now a Suitable Case for Treatment? AFTER THE DUCHESS OF YORK'S CHAT SHOW CONFESSIONS, AN ANALYSIS OF HER NEED FOR PSYCHIATRIC HELP

The Mail on Sunday (London, England), November 17, 1996 | Go to article overview

Is Fergie Now a Suitable Case for Treatment? AFTER THE DUCHESS OF YORK'S CHAT SHOW CONFESSIONS, AN ANALYSIS OF HER NEED FOR PSYCHIATRIC HELP


Byline: Jeannette Kupfermann

MOST OF us today have an understanding of psychology, yet certain personalities still elude us.

We can't make up our minds whether they're simply stupid, manipulative or seriously disturbed.

The Duchess of York is one such individual. Listening to her extraordinary outpourings on both sides of the Atlantic last week as she promoted her new book, one could be forgiven for wondering if she wasn't perhaps just a few emeralds short of a tiara. Is the poor girl a suitable case for treatment?

Certainly she appears to show signs of the classic split personality. How else does one explain the carefully scripted interviews which are completely at odds with each other?

Those in the US and one over here for Radio Four appear to present two completely different Fergies: the American version was up-front, blowsy and seemingly open about her sexual adventures, hinting at an open marriage with Andrew. The BBC interview was full of `poor little waif-like me' references to her vulnerability and supposed immaturity at the time of her marriage, in which she refused to confirm she had been unfaithful at all.

How does one reconcile these conflicting portrayals - of the fighter on one side and the victim on the other?

What would a psychiatrist make of all this? Using the common psychiatric diagnostic method MSE, or Mental State Examination, Fergie would fit into several possible categories.

Schizophrenia: This is the obvious one, since she appears to show two or more distinct personalities. Here, the personality is fragmented. Behaviour, thinking, emotion become disorganised and dissociated.

There is an illogicality and elusiveness in sufferers' speech. They may become focused on the mystical.

HERE is also an incongruity of emotion - an inappropriate response - which, of course, is what one sees again and again in Fergie, whether it's the stories of her juggling phone calls from Andrew and Steve Wyatt while making love to John Bryan or, when she wishes to present herself as a mature and sensible woman, appearing - as she did in America last week - in a skirt split to the thigh.

Her sense of self-awareness seems non-existent, and she has no concept of the implications of her behaviour. On the cover of the autobiography she is touting is a photograph of Fergie presenting one naked foot towards the camera, the toenails painted blood red. Most observers have taken that to be a less-than-coy reference to the most notorious of Fergie's exploits - when she was secretly photographed having her toes sucked by Bryan.

Yet, when asked about this, Fergie swore that she had had no idea people would make such a connection. To her, she said, it was simply a nice photograph, and I am sure she was telling the truth.

Schizophrenics also exhibit superficiality and a silly facetiousness - all very much part of the Fergie make-up. They frequently come to believe cosmic events or even events on TV have a special meaning or message for them. Witness Fergie believing she was destined to marry Charles and become Queen.

Manic Depression: With Fergie it is usually the mania we see. This can involve boundless energy, unusual talkativeness, paranoid delusions (and we've heard a lot recently about `courtiers' and `The Firm'), overspending - and an obsessive interest in sex.

There is often a general loosening of inhibitions: dirty talk (and we know from Allan Starkie's book that there was lots of this), abuse of alcohol and drugs, a voracious appetite and the individual becoming obsessively sociable. There is also an increased tendency to restlessness and being distracted, and sudden mood changes from cheerfulness to irritability and anger.

Much of Fergie's hectic life seems to fit this pattern, from the frequent trips abroad to the rampant `It's A Knockout' style of exhibitionism.

Personality disorders: A predominant feature of these is the denial of responsibility.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Is Fergie Now a Suitable Case for Treatment? AFTER THE DUCHESS OF YORK'S CHAT SHOW CONFESSIONS, AN ANALYSIS OF HER NEED FOR PSYCHIATRIC HELP
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.